How To Clean Good China

Tips on caring for and cleaning fine china.

Formal occasions and holiday dinners are special times that warrant breaking out the good China. Nothing makes an occasion more special than elegant place settings, especially if they're treasured heirlooms or wedding china.

There are many people who never move their china from inside the dining room cabinet because they're afraid of breaking or chipping a piece while cleaning. This shouldn't be the case. What's the use of having beautiful china if you can't share it with friends and relatives?

With proper care, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to use your good china on a regular basis. Read on for tips on caring for and cleaning fine china:

- China scratches easily. To protect your china when stacking, place a coffee filter, paper towel or piece of felt between each piece.

- When placing china pieces next to each other, always allow about a half inch or so between the pieces to prevent chipping and breakage. If placing plates in a standing position, use plate holders to help prop them up. Otherwise, you run the risk of their rolling over and breaking.

- Hang cups on hooks rather than storing them inside of each other, which can cause damage.

- If you will be storing your china, place each piece in a zip lock bag.

- To prevent scratches, use only a rubber spatula to scrape food from china into the trash. Never use metal utensils or spatulas to clean china.

- Before placing china in the sink for cleaning, place a dishtowel or other form of padding on the bottom of the sink.

- Some china can be washed in the dishwasher. Use a mild detergent and set the dishwasher to the "china" or "fragile" setting.

- Before removing china from the dishwasher, let it cool completely. China becomes very hot in the dishwasher.

- When loading china into the dishwasher, make sure none of the dishes touch, and there's no way for them to roll around and break.

- Never place china with gold leaf or other gold adornments in the dishwasher or microwave. The heat can soften or melt the metal.

- Never wash china with any type of abrasive, brush, or scouring pad. Use a sponge or a cloth.

- Use lukewarm water for washing and avoid detergents with any type of bleaching agent, including lemon.

- China should be stored in a cool dry setting. Never store any place where it will be exposed to extreme heat.

When it comes to caring for good china, common sense should prevail. You don't have to treat it too gingerly. China is pretty durable after all, but compared to your basic table ware, it's a bit more fragile. Don't bang your china on the table; place it gently. Don't slide plates on tope of each other; place them softly. Keep a good grip on your china pieces when washing the dishes as soap can cause them to be slippery.

This isn't to scare you away from your china. By all means, use it. China is meant to be enjoyed, not collect dust in a cabinet.

© High Speed Ventures 2011